Forest wolves are one of the four canid species featured in the series, the others being the Forest Fox, White Fox and Northern Wolf. Forest wolves are featured heavily in the series, one of the main characters, Wolf, is a forest wolf, and the main character of the series Torak is of the wolf clan.
Forest wolves are the second largest of the Forest hunters, only the Forest Bear is larger. An adult male forest wolf stands stands 31 inches to the shoulder and weighs inbetween 70-110 pounds, whilst females are smaller standing 28 inches to the shoulder and weighing inbetween 50- 85 pounds. Forest wolves in general have grey coats, mixed with splashes of black and brown and a white underbelly, however wolves have a great variation in colour, some are jet black and some can be a pale cream, the reason for the variation in colour is due to the Forest wolf's hunting style. Unlike the other hunters of the forest, wolves are endurance hunters not ambush hunters, Lynx and Forest bear are fast over short distances but lack the stamina for a long chase, so there fur camoflauges them against the forest background to let them creep to within striking distance of their prey. The forest wolf on the other hand has incredible stamina, they can run non stop for miles, and a typical forest wolf hunt can see both wolf and prey running for miles before the prey is caught, this method of hunting means that Forest wolves do not need to worry about stealth, though there fur does offer a degree of camoflauge as noted by Torak when observes how easily Wolf can vanish from sight.
Wolves are unique in another way, they are the only forest hunters who are not solitary. Unnlike Forest bears, Lynx, Wolverine and Forest fox, wolves live in groups, called packs, all year round. Packs can number from three to twelve individual wolves, and they are very close knit, each wolf caring deeply for the rest of it's pack. Packs are lead by an alpha male and alpha female wolf, these two are usually the oldest wolves or the parents of the the rest of the pack. The alphas decide when it's time to hunt and whenever a kill is made, the alpha ppair always eat first, the alpha pair are the only wolves in a pack to breed, but the rest of the pack is expected to care for the pups as well. The rest of a wolf pack is usually compromised of the Alpha pairs pups from earlier litters, the pups are faced with a choice when they reach maturity at two years old, either remain in the pack or strike off on their own, both choices has disadvantages and advantages, a wolf that stays has the protection of the pack, and has a ready food supply, however it will also never breed and spend the rest of it's life as a low ranking wolf, a wolf that goes off on it's own will find it harder to find food, without the rest of the pack it cannot bring down prey like Red deer, Elk or Auroch, it is also at risk from attack by other predators. But, if it finds another wolf that has struck out alone of the opposite sex, then they can establish a pack toghether and become the alpha pair.
Wolves hunt by running down there prey, however they are much smaller than the prey they hunt, and a lone wolf would find it impossible to bring down large prey on it's own. But, when working toghether in a pack wolves can kill such huge formidable as red deer stags, male elk and even on rare occassions, Bull Auroch. By both exhausting the prey through constant chasing and attacking in unison the prey will eventually drop from either exhaustion or blood loss, however a kick from an elk or deer hoof or a toss from an auroch can easilt kill a wolf, so they must be careful when hunting large prey. Forest wolves lack the slashing and holding claws of lynx, wolverine and forest bear, however there jaws are exceptionally strong able to crack bone, and there canine teeth are 3 centimetres long, meaning that there bites can cause massive damage. Living in a pack not only lets wolvs bring down large prey more easily, it helps wolves better defend there kills, although if a wolf pack is small a Forest bear may come in and steal there food, ravens, Forest foxes, wolverines and many other animals scavenge food wolves leave behind.
Wolves have a complex body language that they use to communicate to each other, they also make a variety of sounds such as whines when they are scared, growls or snarls when angry, barking when they are allarmed, yelping when in pain or excited, and most iconinic of all, the howl. Wolves howl both tho locate each other and to tell other wolves to not enter there territory.
Wolf pups are born in a den dug by the Alpha female, and for the first eight weeks of their lives they live in the den with the Alpha female, she will not leave the den and depends soley on food bought to her by the rest of the pack to survive, but once the pups are 8 weeks old they will leave the den and be introduced to the rest of the pack, and the alpha female will resume hunting as normal. All members of the pack will feed, play with and protect the pups. Any hunter who approaches a wolf den will be viciously chased off by the pack, though occasionally a Forest bear may be able to overpower the den sentries and will eat the pups, a lynx or a wolverine will do the same thing if they find the den unguarded.
A lone wolf is a young wolf who has left it's pack to find a mate, unable to catch large prey it lives off small prey, such as rabbits, squirrels, mice, rats, grouse fish, roe deer, young animals and it will also scvenge carrion. Wolf packs are highly territorial, and if a strange wolf enters the territory of a pack other than it's own, it will be hunted down and killed. However, there are rare cases were a strange wolf has been allowed to join a new pack, Wolf twice joined foreign packs in the series, first in Wolf Brother, and then again in Spirit Walker, however this is the exception rather than the rule.
The Forest clans admire the Forest Wolf becuase it lives in a manner identical to them, individual clans, all contributing and helping each other, it is because of this that the Forest wolf is referred to as the most human like of all the Forest hunters.
The Forest wolf is the clan guardian of the Wolf clan.
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